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NFR Petition against ticket office closures 06:24 - Jul 7 with 7438 viewsJames1980

Please consider signing this petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/636542/signatures/new

'Only happy when you've got it often makes you miss the journey'
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 07:08 - Jul 7 with 5384 viewsRodingdale

The railways need to modernise. Something that is obvious to anyone who uses trains, or more to point has to use the trains. The cost and unreliability of services for those with choice is driving people away from the railways in droves. No doubt if the closure of ticket offices does proceed it will give the unions another excuse to strike and further damage the rail industry. I can’t remember the last time I bought a ticket at a ticket office. Time to accept we live in the digital age - not the steam age.

I will not be signing the petition James, but thanks for asking to consider doing so.
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 07:28 - Jul 7 with 5373 viewsJames1980

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 07:08 - Jul 7 by Rodingdale

The railways need to modernise. Something that is obvious to anyone who uses trains, or more to point has to use the trains. The cost and unreliability of services for those with choice is driving people away from the railways in droves. No doubt if the closure of ticket offices does proceed it will give the unions another excuse to strike and further damage the rail industry. I can’t remember the last time I bought a ticket at a ticket office. Time to accept we live in the digital age - not the steam age.

I will not be signing the petition James, but thanks for asking to consider doing so.


What do you mean by 'modernise'? It seems to be a catch all term for cutting staff and costs to just increase profits without improving the service.
The company line about moving people onto the concourse is nonsense at stations with one member of staff this already happens.

'Only happy when you've got it often makes you miss the journey'
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 08:46 - Jul 7 with 5308 viewsDaleiLama

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 07:08 - Jul 7 by Rodingdale

The railways need to modernise. Something that is obvious to anyone who uses trains, or more to point has to use the trains. The cost and unreliability of services for those with choice is driving people away from the railways in droves. No doubt if the closure of ticket offices does proceed it will give the unions another excuse to strike and further damage the rail industry. I can’t remember the last time I bought a ticket at a ticket office. Time to accept we live in the digital age - not the steam age.

I will not be signing the petition James, but thanks for asking to consider doing so.


When I go into town I'm pretty sure I can't buy a "duo" (discounted ticket for 2) from a machine but can from the ticket office. As a non-German speaker, I recently bought a return ticket (on the Deutsche Bahn) from a ticket office where a very pleasant fraulein told me the rules and what ticket I needed to buy. Not all progress is actually progress. A bit like actually being able to visit your bank without a 30+ mile round trip. I signed it James.

I do agree that the train service in this country is shit though. Last time I went into town 2 trains home were cancelled b4 ours which was running 20 mins late so dropped us at the stop b4 we wanted and had a walk of about 40 mins home. Rarely go into town these days as I don't want getting home to be a lottery or an Uber.

Edit 22k+ signatures. Debated in parliament if >100k
[Post edited 7 Jul 2023 9:44]

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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 09:17 - Jul 7 with 5279 viewssxdale

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 07:08 - Jul 7 by Rodingdale

The railways need to modernise. Something that is obvious to anyone who uses trains, or more to point has to use the trains. The cost and unreliability of services for those with choice is driving people away from the railways in droves. No doubt if the closure of ticket offices does proceed it will give the unions another excuse to strike and further damage the rail industry. I can’t remember the last time I bought a ticket at a ticket office. Time to accept we live in the digital age - not the steam age.

I will not be signing the petition James, but thanks for asking to consider doing so.


That is without doubt the most selfish, self absorbed "I'm alright Jack" post I've ever had the misfortune to read.
I have to travel by train all the time, since my eyesight failed me I can no longer drive. I cannot see how to operate the ticket machines but I can see the ticket office and talk to people. Similarly my 85 year old father who still values his independence enjoys getting about on the train but would struggle buying a ticket online and does not own a smartphone.
This policy is just excluding the most vulnerable people in our society and those unable to drive or unable to afford to own a car from the travel that you enjoy without a thought for anyone else.
It's not just train travel either council's are now using e-tickets and apps for car parking and removing pay and display machines again excluding the elderly and less technologically adept.
Going back to the railways the reason they are failing is quite simply privatisation. All the billions of pounds paid to shareholders over the years could have been spent on improving the railway network.
The Italian, Dutch and German nationalised rail companies run our railways and use the profits they make to subsidise the price of their own citizens tickets and improve their own network.
I will be signing your petition James.
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 09:47 - Jul 7 with 5194 views49thseason

There is a distinct sense that all human problems can be solved by using phones, with no regard for people who cannot or will not use them. It is certainly the case that millions are paying for phones they can't really afford rather than buying food and clothes for their kids. The art of conversation is rapidly disappearing as people spend hours staring at a small screen, even in the pub! and dont get me started on Banks, cash and digital currencies....I dont deny that a phone can be a useful implement in an emergency but to make life impossible without one verges on the criminal and makes us subservient to those who should be serving us.
Never forget, Track and Trace cost us (wasted) £38Bn because some Government children thought it would solve our covid problems. Sooner or later a Government will mandate that you carry your phone at all times... and our perceived freedoms will be totally gone. Switch your phone off, use cash, talk to your family... feel the freedom... and save some jobs in the process!
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 10:58 - Jul 7 with 5126 viewsjonahwhereru

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 09:47 - Jul 7 by 49thseason

There is a distinct sense that all human problems can be solved by using phones, with no regard for people who cannot or will not use them. It is certainly the case that millions are paying for phones they can't really afford rather than buying food and clothes for their kids. The art of conversation is rapidly disappearing as people spend hours staring at a small screen, even in the pub! and dont get me started on Banks, cash and digital currencies....I dont deny that a phone can be a useful implement in an emergency but to make life impossible without one verges on the criminal and makes us subservient to those who should be serving us.
Never forget, Track and Trace cost us (wasted) £38Bn because some Government children thought it would solve our covid problems. Sooner or later a Government will mandate that you carry your phone at all times... and our perceived freedoms will be totally gone. Switch your phone off, use cash, talk to your family... feel the freedom... and save some jobs in the process!


49th often I can’t relate to some of your views on NFR stuff on this forum, but you have beautifully summed up my views on mobile phone indoctrination with your comments.
Actually talking to people is verging on unfashionable, when you can text someone fifty times a day..
To my regret I got persuaded to hook into WhatsApp for arranging socials with a group of friends. The next day I get sent a picture of a plate of food from someone else completely. Now all manner of people are contacting by it. I now only look at the phone about 3 times a day so as not to get drawn into all this banal rubbish.

James I support your cause.
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 11:11 - Jul 7 with 5114 viewsAtThePeake

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 10:58 - Jul 7 by jonahwhereru

49th often I can’t relate to some of your views on NFR stuff on this forum, but you have beautifully summed up my views on mobile phone indoctrination with your comments.
Actually talking to people is verging on unfashionable, when you can text someone fifty times a day..
To my regret I got persuaded to hook into WhatsApp for arranging socials with a group of friends. The next day I get sent a picture of a plate of food from someone else completely. Now all manner of people are contacting by it. I now only look at the phone about 3 times a day so as not to get drawn into all this banal rubbish.

James I support your cause.


Particularly relevant this week given the news from France: https://www.lemonde.fr/en/france/article/2023/07/06/france-set-to-allow-police-t

Tangled up in blue.

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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 11:12 - Jul 7 with 5114 viewssxdale

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 09:47 - Jul 7 by 49thseason

There is a distinct sense that all human problems can be solved by using phones, with no regard for people who cannot or will not use them. It is certainly the case that millions are paying for phones they can't really afford rather than buying food and clothes for their kids. The art of conversation is rapidly disappearing as people spend hours staring at a small screen, even in the pub! and dont get me started on Banks, cash and digital currencies....I dont deny that a phone can be a useful implement in an emergency but to make life impossible without one verges on the criminal and makes us subservient to those who should be serving us.
Never forget, Track and Trace cost us (wasted) £38Bn because some Government children thought it would solve our covid problems. Sooner or later a Government will mandate that you carry your phone at all times... and our perceived freedoms will be totally gone. Switch your phone off, use cash, talk to your family... feel the freedom... and save some jobs in the process!


Great Post 49th, especially the bit about government children, I have a good friend who works for the cabinet office dealing with all the digital stuff, websites etc. He's a good lad but he and the people he works with view everything through the prism of his own knowledge and just assumes everyone is as technology savvy as they are. They also view the world generally as fab and groovy which I believe is in the main due to their upbringing very few of them come from what you would call a traditional working class background.
On your point about using cash, last time I was on the train I thought I'd buy myself a cup of coffee but it was card only They introduced cashless payment only during the pandemic and haven't gone back.
Last time I was going through London I wanted to go from King's Cross to Liverpool Street and it now costs more to pay by cash than to tap in and out using your debit card. I paid cash.
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 11:52 - Jul 7 with 5058 viewsforeverhopefulDale

For the same reason we should have cash turnstiles and ticket office at The Dale we should still have ticket offices at train stations, not everyone can use it has a smartphone. The help and advice that a person in the ticket office can give is often not available online or easy to get on the phone. Everytime I go to a train station the ticket office is always being used. Time the money in the train industry went to the service instead of shareholders, that are often foreign train operators.

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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 12:39 - Jul 7 with 4967 views49thseason

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 11:52 - Jul 7 by foreverhopefulDale

For the same reason we should have cash turnstiles and ticket office at The Dale we should still have ticket offices at train stations, not everyone can use it has a smartphone. The help and advice that a person in the ticket office can give is often not available online or easy to get on the phone. Everytime I go to a train station the ticket office is always being used. Time the money in the train industry went to the service instead of shareholders, that are often foreign train operators.


Most of the foreign ownership is the result of the tendering system forced on us by the EU when we were members.. OJEU. My suspicion is that minimum performance standards were not part of the process or were very minimal to encourage bidders. From the perspective of a company outside the UK, actually delivering a good service was low on the agenda since their shareholders would be unaffected by poor service and delighted by increasing dividends. Hence you get a French company running the local trams and responsible for things like traffic lights in Rochdale.....
Equally we are beset with public schoolboys and girls who think they have a divine right to run anything and everything, they are vastly disproportionately represented in the majority of those things that affect our daily lives ...these figures are from 2019

"The research finds that power rests with a narrow section of the population - the 7% who attend private schools and 1% who graduate from Oxford and Cambridge. The report reveals a ‘pipeline’ from fee-paying schools through to Oxbridge and into top jobs. 52% of leading figures in some professions, for example, senior judges, came through this pathway, with an average of 17% across all top jobs. 39% of cabinet ministers, at the time of the analysis in Spring 2019, were independently educated. This is in contrast with the shadow cabinet, of which just 9% attended a private school.

Interestingly, the education make-up of the shadow cabinet has changed markedly since 2014 when 22% of the then Labour leader Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet were privately educated. Overall 29% of current Members of Parliament come from a private school background, 4 times higher than the electorate they represent.

There is a majority of private schools alumni across various public bodies:
Senior judges - 65%
Civil Service permanent secretaries - 59%
The House of Lords - 57%
Foreign and Commonwealth Office diplomats - 52%
The media also has some of the highest numbers of privately educated people. Of the 100 most influential news editors and broadcasters, 43% went to fee-paying schools. Similarly, 44% of newspaper columnists were privately educated, with a third - 33% - attending both an independent school and Oxbridge."
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 12:54 - Jul 7 with 4946 viewsRodingdale

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 07:28 - Jul 7 by James1980

What do you mean by 'modernise'? It seems to be a catch all term for cutting staff and costs to just increase profits without improving the service.
The company line about moving people onto the concourse is nonsense at stations with one member of staff this already happens.


A fair challenge James - Here’s an example of a modernised railway:

I recently travelled to southern Spain, we flew to Alicante and utilised the Alicante to Denia rail line. The trains run from central Alicante to the resort of Denia where we were staying. The line has recently reopened following closure due to flood damage a number of years ago, the line is operated by a private company FGV. Rolling stock is modern, the service runs to timetable to the minute and fares are around €2.80 for the 80 km route, stations are unmanned - trains have a driver with fares being taken by card by a single ‘conductor’. The ‘conductor’ dealt with a couple of local lads looking to fare dodge. The route passes through Benidorm and when we went in March the train was busy with locals, students and tourists. A modern service for you James.
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 13:12 - Jul 7 with 4891 views442Dale

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 12:54 - Jul 7 by Rodingdale

A fair challenge James - Here’s an example of a modernised railway:

I recently travelled to southern Spain, we flew to Alicante and utilised the Alicante to Denia rail line. The trains run from central Alicante to the resort of Denia where we were staying. The line has recently reopened following closure due to flood damage a number of years ago, the line is operated by a private company FGV. Rolling stock is modern, the service runs to timetable to the minute and fares are around €2.80 for the 80 km route, stations are unmanned - trains have a driver with fares being taken by card by a single ‘conductor’. The ‘conductor’ dealt with a couple of local lads looking to fare dodge. The route passes through Benidorm and when we went in March the train was busy with locals, students and tourists. A modern service for you James.


So if they close ticket offices there will be conductors on the train to buy tickets off?

Is that part of the plan here? If not, keep the offices that are being used as shown in this thread.

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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 13:43 - Jul 7 with 4849 viewsEllDale

Is it fair to compare our knackered network with those new ones in Europe?
And you're only as good as the technology.
The other week I wanted to travel from Todmorden to Rochdale.
The self service ticket machine at Tod station was out of order.
No guard/conductor came round on the train so I've couldn't pay that way.
Rochdale is a gated station but I was able to buy a ticket from the office there.
If that office had been closed I wouldn't have allowed to leave and, worse still, could have been branded a fare dodger.
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 14:20 - Jul 7 with 4796 viewsAtThePeake

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 13:43 - Jul 7 by EllDale

Is it fair to compare our knackered network with those new ones in Europe?
And you're only as good as the technology.
The other week I wanted to travel from Todmorden to Rochdale.
The self service ticket machine at Tod station was out of order.
No guard/conductor came round on the train so I've couldn't pay that way.
Rochdale is a gated station but I was able to buy a ticket from the office there.
If that office had been closed I wouldn't have allowed to leave and, worse still, could have been branded a fare dodger.


To be fair, they always open the barriers at every station if they don't have anyone at the ticket office or the barriers.

Tangled up in blue.

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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 14:43 - Jul 7 with 4764 viewsRodingdale

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 13:43 - Jul 7 by EllDale

Is it fair to compare our knackered network with those new ones in Europe?
And you're only as good as the technology.
The other week I wanted to travel from Todmorden to Rochdale.
The self service ticket machine at Tod station was out of order.
No guard/conductor came round on the train so I've couldn't pay that way.
Rochdale is a gated station but I was able to buy a ticket from the office there.
If that office had been closed I wouldn't have allowed to leave and, worse still, could have been branded a fare dodger.


The infrastructure is knackered partly because successive governments have failed to see an efficient rail and transportation system as a driver of a growing healthy economy. When I come up from London I cross the Victorian viaduct at Stockport, the time to deliver high speed rail in the UK ought to be a source of national shame. We have one short stretch of HS in the UK - the Eurostar HS1 line in Kent (which is useful this season for getting to Ebbsfleet), which we only built because we had to to connect to the European network. NIMBY interests make rail and all infrastructure delivery glacial in the uk, so yes we have a knackered system. Operationally the uk rail network has a heavily unionised workforce who tend to resist change of any sort. Put these factors together and we’ve got to where we are, a rail network which is not fit for purpose in the 21st century.

For economic and environmental reasons the UK has to reverse the decline in passenger numbers* and encourage people to use trains by making them quicker and cheaper than road or domestic air travel, for that transformation to happen there will need to be change, some of it unpalatable in the short term.

*Source: https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/usage/passenger-rail-usage/
[Post edited 7 Jul 2023 17:18]
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 14:47 - Jul 7 with 4761 viewsDalenet

Just to be controversial - apparently Rochdale stations ticket office is NOT down for the closure programme. At least for now.

I saw something the other day that amused me. "Would all Asda shoppers please gather at 10am at the store so that you can unload the articulated wagon before you push your own trolley around the store that no longer has counters with staff behind them and before you scan your own items at the checkout". Every Little Helps
[Post edited 7 Jul 2023 15:22]
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 15:03 - Jul 7 with 4736 viewsjudd

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 12:54 - Jul 7 by Rodingdale

A fair challenge James - Here’s an example of a modernised railway:

I recently travelled to southern Spain, we flew to Alicante and utilised the Alicante to Denia rail line. The trains run from central Alicante to the resort of Denia where we were staying. The line has recently reopened following closure due to flood damage a number of years ago, the line is operated by a private company FGV. Rolling stock is modern, the service runs to timetable to the minute and fares are around €2.80 for the 80 km route, stations are unmanned - trains have a driver with fares being taken by card by a single ‘conductor’. The ‘conductor’ dealt with a couple of local lads looking to fare dodge. The route passes through Benidorm and when we went in March the train was busy with locals, students and tourists. A modern service for you James.


Do they not employ married ones?

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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 15:27 - Jul 7 with 4705 viewssxdale

Successive governments can't even get new infrastructure right. The Ordsal spur was constructed to improve links across Manchester, the latest version of the Pic-Vic link for through trains however funding for additional platforms at Piccadilly was scrapped and the new bridge only has one track in each direction across it so it's a bottleneck and there's no additional capacity or benefit to be had.
I doubt I will see HS2 completed in my lifetime and i any case the money would have been better spent elsewhere.
As for self service checkouts in the supermarkets, I refuse to use then until they offer me a price discount for doing the cashiers job for them and ultimately making them redundant.
At times I f****** hate the modern world and its so called improvements
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 15:27 - Jul 7 with 4703 viewsDalenet

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 14:43 - Jul 7 by Rodingdale

The infrastructure is knackered partly because successive governments have failed to see an efficient rail and transportation system as a driver of a growing healthy economy. When I come up from London I cross the Victorian viaduct at Stockport, the time to deliver high speed rail in the UK ought to be a source of national shame. We have one short stretch of HS in the UK - the Eurostar HS1 line in Kent (which is useful this season for getting to Ebbsfleet), which we only built because we had to to connect to the European network. NIMBY interests make rail and all infrastructure delivery glacial in the uk, so yes we have a knackered system. Operationally the uk rail network has a heavily unionised workforce who tend to resist change of any sort. Put these factors together and we’ve got to where we are, a rail network which is not fit for purpose in the 21st century.

For economic and environmental reasons the UK has to reverse the decline in passenger numbers* and encourage people to use trains by making them quicker and cheaper than road or domestic air travel, for that transformation to happen there will need to be change, some of it unpalatable in the short term.

*Source: https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/usage/passenger-rail-usage/
[Post edited 7 Jul 2023 17:18]


On your point about declines in passengers. Not sure I agree - we have almost 20 years of sustained passenger growth, only interupted due to covid. I read that East Coast Mainline is now back to pre-pandemic passenger levels. There is no need to panic as we recover from covid. We can't expect people to use it if its not there. Passenger volumes are slowly recovering and cutting staff from the stations isn't going to achieve a great deal.
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 15:28 - Jul 7 with 4703 viewsJames1980

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 13:12 - Jul 7 by 442Dale

So if they close ticket offices there will be conductors on the train to buy tickets off?

Is that part of the plan here? If not, keep the offices that are being used as shown in this thread.


Problem is National Rail Conditions of Travel state you must buy before you board or you could be liable for a penalty fare. Of course there are exceptions for example if the machines are not working or the ticket required isn't available from said machines. But it is down to the discretion of the revenue staff.

'Only happy when you've got it often makes you miss the journey'
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 17:43 - Jul 7 with 4556 views442Dale

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 15:28 - Jul 7 by James1980

Problem is National Rail Conditions of Travel state you must buy before you board or you could be liable for a penalty fare. Of course there are exceptions for example if the machines are not working or the ticket required isn't available from said machines. But it is down to the discretion of the revenue staff.


I was just trying to show that just because the experience of some journeys in another country were working, it doesn’t mean they’ll translate here. Would love to see a conductor trying to get down a Rochdale to Mcr train in rush hour to collect payments. As you say James, people know they have to buy before travelling and one look at the vital part the staff play in the ticket office at Rochdale illustrates how shortsighted this plan is.

There are a lot more issues with the railways which could be addressed before thinking getting rid of ticket offices will help, simply because some find it easy not to use them.

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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 18:05 - Jul 7 with 4527 viewsYadHoDale

Signed.

"RodingDale" on ignored list, joining one or two others who shouldn't be allowed crayons, never mind computers.
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 18:22 - Jul 7 with 4493 viewskel

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 18:05 - Jul 7 by YadHoDale

Signed.

"RodingDale" on ignored list, joining one or two others who shouldn't be allowed crayons, never mind computers.


Could be worse, at least they’re not stashing guns…
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 19:00 - Jul 7 with 4446 viewsRodingdale

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 18:05 - Jul 7 by YadHoDale

Signed.

"RodingDale" on ignored list, joining one or two others who shouldn't be allowed crayons, never mind computers.


I’ll listen to what you have to say before I decide whether I agree with you or not, because I have an open mind and welcome rational debate. It’s a shame you won’t see this, it would be interesting to hear your ideas for improving the rail network.
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NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 19:22 - Jul 7 with 4427 views442Dale

NFR Petition against ticket office closures on 19:00 - Jul 7 by Rodingdale

I’ll listen to what you have to say before I decide whether I agree with you or not, because I have an open mind and welcome rational debate. It’s a shame you won’t see this, it would be interesting to hear your ideas for improving the rail network.


That’s a fair point. It’s that this is clearly not improving it as it’s affecting customers.

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